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Check out these 18 tips to improve your body language, social skills, confidence, ability to make friends, and even land better jobs!
How do you carry yourself? Are your shoulders back? Or do you slump or fidget? Simply being aware of your body can immediately reduce bad habits.
We tend to speak quickly when nervous. Slow down and enunciate; it won't sound as strange to your partner as it does in your head.
This happens unconsciously when there's a connection, but you can preempt it and increase your synergy by proactively (and subtly) mirroring your partner.
Crossing your arms or legs can be okay, but be aware of how you're doing it. Cross your legs towards your partner. Crossing a leg with your ankle on your knee suggests arrogance. And don't hold your drink on the table with your opposite hand.
Make Eye Contact
But not too much; it can be creepy!
People like happy people. Smile when appropriate, and laugh when they say something funny. Beware of laughing at the end of your own sentences (even if you think you're funny) - it indicates a lack of confidence.
Keep your shoulders down and back. Your chiropractor will thank you.
Don't slouch, but don't sit too straight either!
It's easy to clutch your drink to your chest, but putting something between you and your partner makes you seem guarded. Best to keep it down low and to the side.
Agreement is good, but don't bob your head or nod for the sake of nodding.
Face Your Partner
Angling your body away from your partner might mean you don't want to be there.
This indicates enthusiasm, but don't lean in so closely your partner thinks you're trying for a kiss (especially if it's a job interview)!
Don't do it! It makes your partner uneasy, and is a sign of anxiety. Beware of playing with earrings, bottle caps, straws, pens, peeling labels, wiggling your foot or knee, touching your face, and running your hands through your hair.
Keep your head straight and chin down. Tilting your head indicates submissiveness (and it's bad for your neck).
An overly firm handshake can be just as bad as a limp one. Try to match your partner, aiming for a firm comfortable grip.
A good place for your hands is clasped behind your back, indicating confidence. In your pockets is okay, but possibly indicative of boredom or over-confidence. Use hands to illustrate and emphasize points, but not too flamboyantly. No arm flapping; from the elbows down is good.
Don't Put Anything Between You
Although you might think sitting across a table from your partner makes sense, it reduces the engagement-factor. Sitting at 45 degrees is good, and still allows for personal space and mirroring.
Now that you're probably hyper-aware of your body language, take a deep breath and let it flow. With a little bit of conscious practice these techniques will become natural.
Remember: These are just guidelines. Although crossing your arms could mean a communication blockage, it might also be for comfort or warmth. Cultural practices are also relevant; people have different views on personal space and eye contact for example. Remain aware and sensitive to your surroundings, and you'll do fine.
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Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She is a contributing writer under the CareOne Debt Relief Services Life Balance blog. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, taking advantage of creative volunteering positions. As a former certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. You can follow Nora on Twitter @hobonora
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Thanks Nora for that great advice.
It is so true someone's body language can say so much when you are talking to someone.
Thanks, Dennis. Hope you got some good tips from this!
These are all great but sometimes much harder to put into practice when you're nervous and not thinking. I shall try and remember them and at least be able to change one or two habits so that I have "nicer" body language.
good very nice , the the tips should be explane in detail.